Former NFL star, Warrick Dunn, is mostly known for his athletic ability. During 12 seasons in the NFL, Dunn was selected to the Pro Bowl, 3 times, and he was also the Rookie of the Year in 1997. As a rookie in the NFL, Dunn instantly decided that his true mission was to help underprivileged families. During his rookie campaign in 1997, Dunn organized the Homes for the Holidays(HFTH) program. The HFTH program rewards single-parent families for reaching first-time homeownership.
In 2002, Dunn started the Warrick Dunn Charities which has partnered with Habitat for Humanity and Aaron’s Rents to provide families with completely furnished homes, food, and personal supplies. Since their establishment, the HFTH and WDC programs have assisted over 115 single parents and over 300 dependents in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tampa, and Tallahassee.
Dunn’s inspiration to be active in charity came from his mother Betty Dunn Smothers. His mother, a police officer, had dreams of owning a home to provide for her, and six children were never reached because she was killed while on duty. His mother inspired him through every positive decision he has made in life since her tragic death. In July 2012, Warrick Dunn Charities launched Betty’s Hope, a children’s bereavement program that works to empower youth as they manage their grief in a responsive environment to heal and enhance their quality of life.
Dunn’s hardships have molded him into a highly motivated person who wants to prevent children, and families, from going through the rough times that he and his own family endured. Most former NFL players take jobs in the media or stay out of the spotlight.
Dunn was inspired to continue helping families grow and providing housing to single-parents through the Home for the Holidays, and Warrick Dunn Charity programs. Dunn is still inspired by his mother’s dream, which motivates him to push harder for himself, and hundreds of families. Check out the link below for more information on Dunn’s charity programs.